Fresh & Local Pan-Seared Scallops with Bacony Quinoa

There's fish market walking distance from my house - and by walking distance, I mean I can get there in less than 4 minutes.  For some reason, never in my 2.5 years in Boston had I walked in the door.  And as soon as I did, I immediately cursed myself for lost time.

They collect their fish just minutes after it comes off the local, New England fishing boats, and only keep it in stock for about 24 hours - they almost always sell out.  They sell a bunch of fun, eccentric products from Greece, including about 12 different kinds of olive oil, and 7 different kinds of feta cheese.  Best of all their scallops - the scallops!

The Boston Globe did an - I guess you can call it an expose - on the scam they call the fish market, including the amount of water vs the amount of meat you get when you buy scallops.  Guess what?  When you buy from a grocery store?  It's all water - throw them under a broiler and watch them shrivel up until they resemble a bunch of smelly M&Ms.  The scallops I bought at the fish market?  They were all meat, baby!

I'm not rounding the corner on a point, except to say buy your fish locally, if you can.  If you live near a fish market or a farmers market with a local fish vendor, take advantage of it!  Buy it fresh off the boat, taste the difference, dodge the preservatives and stop dropping your cash on bags more filled with water than flesh.

Fresh Local Scallops


  • 4 center-cut bacon slices
  • 1 pound jumbo sea scallops (about 12)
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 cup quiona, cooked normally (like rice!)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • Baconized Quinoa

1. Cut the bacon into 1" pieces and cook until dark brown and crumbly
2. Move about half the bacon grease to another pan, heat, and add onion and garlic until translucent, then add cauliflower until soft enough to cut with a fork

Quinoa Cauliflower

3.  While that cooks, chop parsley and add to cooked quinoa
4.  Add the cooked veggies to the quinoa as well...

Quiona and bacon

5.  Now add the smoked paprika to the quinoa along with a pinch of salt, and mix the whole thing up good-like.

Paprika and bacon

Bacon grease Quinoa

Quiona salad

Scallops Recipe6. In original pan with the remainder of the bacon grease, turn the heat all the way up, and add scallops
7.  Add the lemon juice, to the pan, and cook the scallops until they are a deep brown on both sides (I didn't turn the heat up quite enough, so these didn't quite brown as much as I would like)
8. While these cook, crumble the bacon and mix into the quinoa
9. Scoop the quinoa mixture into a bowl, and toss the scallops on top and you are good to go.

crumbly quiona

Also, as a side note, you may notice a slight difference in the quality of the images - I went and bought one of the most advanced point & shoots on the market - the Canon S100.  It's the closest you can get to an SLR camera without fully making the leap, and it is TONS of fun. If you're currently using a camera that doesn't quite fit the bill, or you're learning how to gain control of the images you take, I suggest checking this puppy out.  I absolutely love it.
Scallops + Bacon + Quiona

browned scallops


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